The 1.8 kilogram chopper hitched a ride with the Perseverance rover so scientists could see how things fly in the Mars atmosphere — and to send back a few happy snaps.

NASA’s little Mars helicopter has been given a reprieve.
Instead of wrapping up flight tests at the beginning of May, NASA is giving its Ingenuity helicopter at least an extra month to tackle tough new terrain and serve as a scout for its companion rover, Perseverance.
Officials announced the flight extension Friday, following three short flights in under two weeks for the $85 million tech demo.
Soon afterwards, there was more good news: Ingenuity the first powered aircraft to soar at another planet had aced its fourth flight at Mars.
Ingenuity took significant strides on its fourth flight. (AP: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
For Friday’s trip, Ingenuity travelled 266 meters at a height of 5 meters for two minutes considerably farther and longer than before.
An attempt on Thursday had failed because of a known software error.
What’s the point of the chopper flights?
While Perseverance went to Mars to collect samples, Ingenuity is pretty much just there to fly around. 
“The purpose of the helicopter is one single purpose – that is to show how we can fly in the Martian atmosphere,” NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen explained in a Twitter video. 
But Ingenuity has the added bonus of being able to snap some unique views of Mars. 
“Since we’re already there, we decided to put some cameras up there to capture the moment,” Dr Zurbuchen said. 
The atmosphere on Mars is too thin for the tiny helicopter to be upscaled to carry around astronauts, project manager MiMi Aung said. 
However, she did say it could have other practical uses in the future. 
Ingenuity and Perseverance soon to part
On its fifth flight in another week or so, the 1.8-kilogram chopper will move to a new airfield on Mars, allowing the rover to finally start focusing on its own rock-sampling mission.
The rover is seeking signs of ancient life at Jezero Crater, home to a lush lakebed and river delta billions of years ago.
The helicopter team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, expects to chalk up a sixth and seventh flight later this month.
The previous limit had been five.
If all goes well, the helicopter mission could go even longer.
“Ingenuity loves Mars. It takes off and I almost feel the freedom that it feels,”  Ms Aung said.  
Ingenuity took its second flight last week. (AP: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS 
Now Perseverance will take priority, scoping out the rocks around the February 18 landing site.
Ingenuity hitched a ride to Mars on the rover’s belly, launching from Cape Canaveral last summer.
Managers expect the rover to collect its first sample in July for return to Earth in a decade.
The rover will continue to relay data and pictures from the helicopter, but stop taking its own chopper shots.
The two spacecraft must be within a kilometre of one another for communication relay.
Ingenuity’s days are numbered probably 
Designed to operate on Mars for 30 days, Ingenuity probably can survive the freezing Martian nights and repeated flights in the extremely thin atmosphere for at least another few months.
But it won’t live forever. 
“We really do expect some finite life,” Ms Aung said.
“And so it will be a race between how long these parts surprise us in surviving.”
ABC with AP